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HE PURPOSE of an Historical Museum is to 
visualize to the people of today, by exhibiting 
objects of historical interest, the life, the habits 
and the important occurrences of former times. 

Such exhibitions create in the mind of the observer a 
stronger appreciation of the reality of the principal facts, of 
the chronology, and of the significance of history. They give 
a sense of intimate touch with the past, and aid in under- 
standing the present and future, through an understanding 
of that which has transpired. 

It is necessary to discriminate in selecting material for such 
a museum. Objects should not be shown simply because 
they are old, but because they either illustrate some mode of 
life now changed or forgotten; or else, by actual association 
with some significant event in history, aid in fixing in the 
mind of the observer the reality, importance and circum- 
stance of that event. Thus, in its museum, the Society aims 
to display visually the history of the State, as, at Washington , 
the National Museum visualizes the Country's history. 

The objects in the museum have been arranged chrono- 
logically as far as their size and shape would permit, so that 
a walk around the balcony, keeping always to the right, will 
give a general idea of the chronological occurrence of events 
and use of objects. 

While the Society has attempted to verify as far as practi- 
cable the descriptions that have accompanied the objects 
placed in its museum, it can not guarantee that these state- 
ments are entirely correct in every instance. 

The name of the donor of an object is given only when 
such information bears on the authenticity of the object. 


T the right of the entrance of the Museum hangs 
a photograph of the Viking ship which was recently 
excavated at Cokstad near Sandiford in Southern 
Norway. In such a ship as this, Leif, son of Eric the Red, 
in 1001 discovered Vinland, which has been identified as 
New England. Many students of the subject believe that 
Leif landed on the shores of Narragansett Bay. There are 
no remains of this Norse visit, although at one time the 
Old Stone Mill at Newport and the rock inscriptions at 
Dighton, Massachusetts, and at Bristol, Rhode Island, were 
supposed to have been made by the Northmen. 

Upon entering the Museum, one passes between two flags, 
the national flag on the right, and the Rhode Island state 
flag on the left. These flags were carried for many years in 
the processions of the military cadets of the English and 
Classical School of Providence. The United States flag has 
forty-four stars, which number was used between the ad- 
mission of the forty-fourth state, Wyoming, July 11, 1890, 
and the forty-fifth state, Utah, January 4, 1896. The Rhode 
Island state flag was blue from 1882 to 1897, when it was 
changed to white, the color that had been used from 1780 
to 1882. 

Beside the staff of the United States flag stands an instru- 
ment called a cross-stafif, used by mariners in finding the 
ship's position. It was superseded by the quadrant, which 
was invented by Thomas Godfrey of Philadelphia in 1730. 
This instrument was used by Caleb Harris when he surveyed 
the state in 1795. 

Turning to the right, one comes upon Cases 1 and 2, 
containing stone implements used by 


When the first English settlers arrived, the Indians who 
lived about Narragansett Bay had not progressed beyond the 
stone age. All their tools were of stone, and were made, 
either as the axes, by constant rubbing; or as the arrow- 


heads, by flint-chipping. Besides making stone implements, 
the Indians wove mats, baskets and cordage. They also 
hollowed out logs by alternately burning and gouging them, 
thus making canoes. The Narragansetts were foremost in 
the production of wampumpeage, or Indian money. This 
was made by rubbing small pieces of sea-shells into the 
shape of beads and drilling holes in them, after which 
they were strung on threads. This currency of the Indians 
was adopted and used by the early white settlers. The 
black beads were worth twice the value of the white ones. 

The heads for axes, hatchets, tomahawks, adzes, hammers 
and clubs were made by gradually rubbing stones into the 
required shape, and attaching them by thongs or cords to 
the ends of sticks. Often the sticks were partly split so as 
to allow the stone head to be more firmly wedged between 
the two parts of the stick, which were then bound together 
at the end above the stone. Sometimes holes were drilled 
through the heads of the tomahawks and the handles inserted, 
as is done in a modern hatchet. Two very fine examples of 
drilled stone tomahawk-heads are shown in Case 2. Gouges, 
chisels, pestles, and rollers were made in the same manner 
as the axe-heads. 

Spear-heads and arrow-heads were usually made of flint or 
quartz, although sometimes slate was used. The large black 
arrow-head near the center of the card is of slate. Many 
Indian arrow-heads can still be found along sandy wastes in 
the less inhabited parts of Rhode Island. Pipes were perhaps 
the most difficult to make of all the articles manufactured 
by the Indians, as they had to be both shaped and drilled. 
They made mortars and bowls quite easily out of soapstone. 
The bowl exhibited in the case is ornamented with two small 

A few stone heads similar to the photograph have been 
found in Rhode Island. These may have been attempts at 
portraiture, or they may have been idols. The two skulls 
in Case 1 were dug up at the Indian burying-ground in 
Charlestown, Rhode Island. 


Which formerly ornamented the door of Kent County Jail 


The Indians who were living here when the Europeans 
came could neither read nor write, but tribes living here at 
an earlier period were much more civilized and left many 
rock-inscriptions in New England, several being in Rhode 
Island. The only one now extant in this state is situated 
in Bristol on the shore of Mount Hope Bay. The stone 
heads were doubtless made by these earlier tribes. 

We have no mementos of the voyage of Giovanni da 
Verrazano, who visited Narragansett Bay in April, 1524, 
nor of that of Adrien Block, who explored it in 1614, and 
after whom Block Island was named. 

With these early explorers, as well as later with the Dutch 
and English settlers, the Indians traded furs for the various 
articles of European manufacture that appealed to their 
fancy or suited their needs. In this manner, the Dutch 
bottles and other objects of glass and copper exhibited in 
Case 3 came into the possession of the Indians, and were 
buried with their owners; for it was the custom of the natives 
to bury with the deceased the more valuable part of his 
property. When the Indian graves in Charlestown, Westerly, 
and Tiverton were opened, these objects, together with the 
Indian skulls in Case 1, were exhumed. The small copper 
bell is without doubt the first bell in Rhode Island. The 
wampum and hair on the upper shelf were also found in 
Indian graves. 

On the wall hangs a map showing the Indian names for 
places in Rhode Island. 

The third shelf holds an idealized picture of Metacom of 
Pokanoket, who was called King Philip by the English. It 
was engraved for the history of King Philip's war which was 
written by Col. Benjamin Church of Little Compton, one of 
the leaders of the English soldiers, and in command of those 
who finally captured and slew King Philip at Mount Hope 
on August 12, 1676. 

The bead belt displayed on this shelf is said to have be- 
longed to King Philip, and was presented to the Society by 
Miss Caroline M. Read with the following statement: 


"This bead-belt was once the property, according to a 
clearly defined family tradition, of Philip, of Pokanoket. It 
was given to Miss Read by her grandmother, the late Mrs. 
Molly Bowers, who was born in Seekonk, August 15, 1740. 
Mrs. Bowers removed to Pawtucket when that village con- 
tained only five houses, and died in George Street, in Provi- 
dence, in October, 1840, in her 101st year. Her husband, 
Asa Bowers, of Connecticut, was a revolutionary soldier, and 
died during the war." 

That Philip, during his lifetime, was the possessor of several 
of these ornamental belts is unquestionably true. After 
the capture of the "great Captain" Anawon, that warrior 
presented to Captain Church three belts, which he said had 
belonged to Philip. One was "curiously wrought with wom- 
pom, being nine inches broad, wrought with black and white 
wompom, in various figures, and flowers and pictures of 
many birds and beasts. This, when hanged upon Captain 
Church's shoulders, reached his ancles." The other was 
"wrought after the former manner, which Philip was wont 
to put upon his head. It had two flags on the back part, 
which hung down on his back, and another small belt with 
a star upon the end of it, which he used to hang on his breast, 
and they were all edged with red hair, which Anawon said 
they got in the Mohog's [ Mohawk's ] Country." The editor 
of "The History of Philip's War," says that the first-men- 
tioned belt, "and some other of Philip's ornaments are now 
[ 1829 ] owned in a family at Swansey, as I was informed by 
an inhabitant of the place." 

The tomahawk was used by William Denison in the French 
and Indian War, and the baskets were woven by Narragan- 
sett Indians. One of them was presented to Dinah Fenner, 
daughter of Thomas Borden, and wife of Major Thomas 
Fenner, a soldier in King Philip's War. 


Case 4 contains relics of the first English settlers of Rhode 
Island. On Shelf 2 are some nails from the grave of William 


Blackstone, the first Englishman to settle in Rhode Island. 
He sold his lands in Boston, November 10, 1634, and moved 
to what is now Cumberland, building a house on Study Hill, 
near the Blackstone River, which is named for him. He died 
May 26, 1675, and was buried on Study Hill. 

There are many relics of Roger Williams, who founded and 
named Providence in 1636. The combination compass and 
sun-dial that was owned and used by him is exhibited in 
a special case in one corner of the Portrait Gallery. In 
regard to this compass, Mr. Desmond Fitz Gerald on Novem- 
ber 25, 1904, wrote as follows: 

"The Roger Williams compass has always been in our 
family since Roger was expelled from Massachusetts. My 
grandmother, Mrs. Patrick Brown, who lived in the brick 
house at 46 Williams Street, inherited it, and I remember it 
very well when I lived with her. My grandmother lent the 
compass to Mr. Randall, a descendant of Roger Williams, 
living in Providence, who was an ardent admirer of his an- 
cestor, but possessed no relics. Mr. Randall carried the 
compass carefully in his pocket for many years, and I have 
seen him take it from his pocket to show to people. After 
my grandmother's death the compass passed into the hands 
of my aunt, Mrs. Nathaniel Church, who gave Mr. Randall 
permission to retain the compass. Mr. Randall was supposed 
to resemble Roger Williams, and he lived to be an old man. 
Then, in turn, my aunt died, and after Mr. Randall's death, 
his heirs took it to my aunt's house, Mrs. John Carter Brown, 
and left it there. I am glad the Society has it, where it will 
be safely guarded." 

In another corner of the Portrait Gallery, stands a large 
oaken chest which, tradition says, Roger Williams brought 
over from England in the ship Lyon in 1630. He wrote 
several books, one of which, "A Key into the Language of 
America," that is, the language of the Indians, is on exhibi- 
tion in the case in the Portrait Gallery, together with one 
of his autograph letters and a lock of Mrs. Williams' hair. 
Their graves, near the corner of Bowen and Pratt Streets, 


were opened March 22, 1860, and the famous apple-tree root, 
which is supposed to have followed the contour of Roger 
Williams' bones, and other remains were exhumed. This 
apple-tree root, about which so much has been written, is in 
the large case at the south end of the Museum. Some of the 
nails and hair taken from the graves are in a box on Shelf 3, 
while the greater part of the remains are in the Stephen 
Randall tomb in the North Burial-Ground. 

When Roger Williams crossed the Seekonk River in 1636 
to establish a settlement here, he landed on Slate Rock, the 
location of which is marked by a monument near the corner 
of Williams and Gano Streets. A piece of Slate Rock is 
exhibited in this case and a larger piece lies near the apple- 
tree root at the other end of the room. A goblet made from 
the wood of the house in which Roger Williams lived at 
Salem before coming to Providence, a stone from the cellar 
of his house in Seekonk, a piece of wood from the church in 
Salem of which he was pastor in 1634, and a piece of wood 
from an original timber of Weybosset Bridge, which was 
built by Roger Williams and his associates in 1660, are also 
preserved here. 

The small trunk on the lower shelf belonged to Joshua 
Winsor, a friend of Roger Williams and one of the early 
settlers of Providence. 

On the wall hangs a window, with its broken panes of 
leaded glass, and two banisters from the house of William 
Coddington, at Newport, which was built in 1641. William 
Coddington was thrice governor of Rhode Island, dying in 
office November 1, 1678. 

Below this are the diamond-shaped panes from a window 
of the house of Capt. Arthur Fenner. This house was 
built about 1660 near the present village of Simmonsville, in 
Cranston. All the windows of this period had small panes 
of glass. A fine pair of wrought-iron hinges, ending in the 
shape of a fleur-de-lis, and a piece of wood from this house 
are also shown. 

A blue delft tile from the house of Edward Winslow, who 


was governor of Massachusetts in 1633, gives a touch of the 
interior of the better houses of that day. Beside it is an 
impression from Governor Winslow's seal. The white tile 
from the Christopher Sheldon House, later called The Cole- 
man House, on South Main Street, Providence, is of a much 
later date. 

The seal of Benedict Arnold, who was the first governor of 
Rhode Island under the Royal Charter of 1663, is of much 
interest. The design is the state's seal, with his initials 

On the same shelf are one of the handles and a piece of 
wood from the coffin of Henry Bull, who was governor of 
Rhode Island in 1685 and 1686, and who died January 22, 

The lower shelf contains a square hearth-brick, from the 
Roger Mowry House, and Shelf 2 a gavel made of a piece of 
wood from the same house. This house was built on the 
present Abbott Street, as early as 1653, perhaps earlier, by 
Roger Mowry, who in 1655 was appointed to keep a house 
of entertainment. This was the first tavern in Providence 
and was also used as a place of meeting by the town-council, 
and for religious services. This house, variously called "The 
Abbott House" and "The Whipple House" from later occu- 
pants, was torn down in 1900. An account of it is given by 
Isham in his "Early Rhode Island Houses." 

The bricks on Shelf 2, said to have been made in Holland, 
were used by Captain Thomas Willett in the construction of 
the chimney of his house at Wannamoisett in East Provi- 
dence. After residing there for a few years, Willett moved 
to New York, where in 1665 he became the first English 
mayor of that city. This house was demolished in 1901. 

The brass door-knob probably dates from about 1750, and 
is from the Glebe House of St. John's Church on Olney 

The large flax-comber, or hetchel, was used by Lydia, the 
daughter of Thomas Olney, and wife of Joseph Williams, 
Roger Williams' youngest son. Two other styles of flax- 


combers are shown in the next case. They were used to comb 
the tow and coarse parts out of the flax, preparatory to 
making cloth. 

The shears and vise were used by the Wilkinsons in the 
first nail-shop in New England, and the two branding-irons 
on the same shelf were used to place marks of identification 
on the ears of cattle and swine, at a time when there were 
no fences and all the animals roamed about the village. 

Case 5 contains a number of relics of the Bernon family. 
Among these, the most notable are a delft jar, and a gold 
rattle, brought over from France by Gabriel Bernon, a Hu- 
guenot refugee. He came to Newport in 1697 and later 
lived in Providence. A photograph of his sword and a 
painting of these objects hang upon the wall at the side of 
a sampler, worked by some member of his family. A bag, 
a napkin, a piece of embroidered silk, and a fragment of a 
coarser cloth, used in the Bernon family, are also displayed. 
Shelf 3 holds a pewter platter inscribed as follows: "M T 
This platter a part of the wedding outfit of Marie Bernon, 
daughter of Gabriel Bernon, and wife of Abraham Tourti- 
lotte. Huguenot exiles, was given by her to her daughter 
Lydia Knowlton, nee Tourtilotte and by her to her grand- 
daughter Lydia Knowlton Waterman, nee Westcott." 

Shelf 2 contains the model of the house of Samuel Dunn, 
who married on September 18, 1746, Esther Tourtellot, 
granddaughter of Abraham and Marie (Bernon) Tourtellot. 
This house was situated on Benefit Street in Providence. 
The model was made for Gabriel Bernon Dyer, great-great- 
grandson of Samuel Dunn. 

The lower shelf of this and the next three cases contain an 
assortment of kitchen utensils used in Colonial times. A 
curious old toaster, with its long handle, used in the Field 
family; a flat-iron forged from a single piece of bar-iron and 
used by Freelove Fenner, who married Samuel Joy, and 
lived in the Arthur Fenner house already mentioned; an old- 
fashioned wafile-iron used in the Knight family; a griddle, 
and an iron kettle, both fitted with rings for hanging in an 


open fire; a smaller three-legged pot; two copper kettles; and 
a brass kettle bought by William Gould at the auction sale 
of the effects of the Rev. James MacSparran, who was rector 
of St. Paul's, Narragansett, from 1720 to 1757. His portrait 
hangs in the gallery below. On this shelf also are two small 
iron skillets; an earthenware jug from the Jonathan Arnold 
House in Lincoln, which was demolished in 1890; and a 
couple of wooden mortars and a pestle, dating from Colonial 

On the wall of Case 6 is a boot-and-shoe sign, which bears 
the date 1718. It is said to have hung above Waterman's 
shoe-shop on North Main Street. It also contains a T-square 
made of wood from the Old Town-House, which formerly 
stood on the southwest corner of Benefit and College Streets, 
where the Providence County Court-House now stands. 
A picture of the Old Town-House hangs in the Portrait- 
Gallery. A curious Dutch spectacle-case dating from 1727, 
and some specimens of hand-made pins complete the display 
on the upper shelf. 

Shelf 2 contains a large pitch-pipe made of wood; a mold 
for making pewter spoons ; a mold for making pewter buttons, 
which was used for generations in the Slade family of Cov- 
entry; a toddy-glass marked \- and a hand-forged spike 
from the Joseph Brown House (alias Deacon Harding House) 
on South Main Street, which was torn down in October, 1904. 

On the third shelf are some nails from a slave-ship wrecked 
near Fort Adams, Newport. Many Rhode-Islanders for- 
merly engaged in this lucrative trade. Some nails from the 
Dexter House, which was built in 1723, are also shown. It 
was situated on Governor Street, which was so called from 
the fact that Gov. James Fenner, the first president of 
this Society, lived there. The small wooden chest was pre- 
sented to the town of Hopkinton for the preservation of its 
early records by Governor Stephen Hopkins, for whom the 
town was named, March 19, 1757. Near by lies a long black 
piece of wood once part of a French frigate that was sunk in 
the defense of Louisburg in 1758, during the French and 
Indian Wars. 


In Case 7 is shown a suit of clothes worn by Sion Arnold 
of Warwick in 1740; a hat worn by J. Kassen of Voluntown, 
Connecticut, in Colonial times; a lady's shoe-buckle; and 
a gum-shoe of the same period. In this case also are a pair 
of straw-splitters used in the manufacture of bonnets, a 
notary seal; an English bread-tray used in the Baxter family; 
a Colonial monkey-wrench with the thread inside the handle; 
and a wooden bedkey used in tightening the cords which 
took the place of springs in old-fashioned beds. 

Case 8 contains three warming-pans, the oldest one being 
of iron with an iron handle, while the later ones are of brass. 
These were used in olden times to warm beds on cold winter 
nights, before the time of furnace-iires. Here is shown a 
bronze replica of the first seal of Rhode Island College, now 
Brown University, and a piece of wood from University 
Hall, called originally The College Edifice, which was built 
in 1770. The American troops were quartered in this build- 
ing during the Revolution. 

On Shelf 2 of Cases 7 and 8 is a collection of pewter ware. 
This soft metal has been replaced by silver in modern house- 
holds. The platter is marked "M C," and was used in the 
family of Edward Dexter; and the five plates which belonged 
to Marie (Bernon) Tourtellot were made in London by 
Thomas Griffen. These are marked "M T." The plate 
marked i^- belonged to Jonathan and Abigail (Smith) 
Arnold of Smithfield, R. I., who were married before 1739. 
The tankard, cups, and two of the plates were made by 
Samuel Hamlin of Providence and presented to the Fruit 
Hill Baptist Church by Bernard Eddy in 1774. The inscrip- 
tion on the tankard reads "A. Gt. to ye Ch. Bd. Ey. 1774." 
The porringers belonged in the family of Richard Clark 
Waterman and were made in Providence by Samuel E. Ham- 
lin, son of Samuel Hamlin, the pewterer. One of the plates 
is marked "I S C," and another is inscribed "1701 M. BHfif 
to D. Jones 1795 to D. E. JONES 1845 S. E. DOYLE 1869." 
A pewter tea-canister is in Case 17. 

The third shelf displays various accessories to the lighting 

Owned and used by Roger Williams 



Formerly suspended over Waterman's Shoe- Shop on Cheapside 
(now North Main Street) 


system of Colonial days. A tinder-box with its flint and steel, 
once the property of the Carder family of Warwick; two 
lanterns, one from the Arthur Fenner House; three molds for 
making candles; and two tallow dips, a cheaper grade of 
candles, made without a mold, by dipping the wick in molten 
tallow; and a candle-snuff"er and tray used by the Mowry 
family of Smithfield. 

In one corner of the window-seat is a large wooden screw 
used in the crushing of apples in an old-time cider press in 
Cumberland, R. I.; and above it a hatchment bearing the 
Usher arms, once the property of the Hon. John Usher, 
Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire from 1692 to 1697. 
It was made by his father, Hezekiah Usher. In ancient 
times hatchments were hung over the doorway of a deceased 
person's house, a custom now superseded by the display of 
crape. The bunch of grapes in early time hung over the 
shop of Benjamin and Edward Thurber as early as 1766. 
This firm is now the Gladding Dry Goods Company, which 
continues to use a bunch of grapes as a trade-mark. 

On the other side of the window is a small statue repre- 
senting a Colonial Rhode Islander. It formerly hung above 
the entrance to the Kent County Jail, at East Greenwich. 

The cradle in the center of the window-seat was used in 
the Richmond family, and the bread-tray beneath it was 
used in the Knight family. 

The crane, trammel, and pot-hook once did service in a 
Colonial fire-place. 

In the large case at the south end of the museum is the 
Roger Williams apple-tree root, already mentioned; a piece 
of Slate Rock; and an electrical machine that once belonged 
to Moses Brown. The case also contains a croze, used by 
coopers for making grooves for the heads of barrels, a leather- 
bottomed grain-sieve used before 1800 on the Coggeshall 
Farm at Little Narrows in Bristol, and an iron stove lined 
with soap-stone, a substance which in olden times took the 
place of modern fire-brick. Three gravestones are in this 


On top of the case are two spinning-wheels and a reel. The 
larger wheel is for wool and belonged to Betsey Williams, who 
bequeathed Roger Williams Park to the city by her will 
dated August 21, 1868. She died November 27, 1871. The 
small spinning-wheel is for flax, and was owned in the family 
of Zachariah Allen. A cheese-press and a Dutch oven, called 
locally a Tin Kitchen, the relics of a mode of life long since 
past, are also upon the case. 

The small model of the church of St. Paul's, Narragansett, 
which was built in 1707, is within this case. The model was 
constructed by Thomas March Clark, who was bishop of 
Rhode Island from 1854 to 1903. The larger model is of the 
First Congregational Meeting-House, which formerly stood 
on the southeast corner of Benefit and Benevolent Streets. 
It was destroyed by fire, June 14, 1814. In this case, too, is 
a facsimile reproduction in wood of the original Turk's 
Head, which gave its name to the locality at the junction 
of Weybosset and Westminster Streets. 

A wand of office used by the Town-Sergeant of Providence, 
a very interesting relic of Colonial times, stands in the win- 
dow-seat at the side of the cradle. Its brass head bears the 
arms of Rhode Island, an anchor, between the letters "G R," 
around which is the legend, "In Te Domine Speramus," 
a motto in early times used interchangeably with "Hope." 
An espontoon or military pike, with ornamented head, car- 
ried by the commissioned officers of the Rhode Island militia, 
as required by the Public Laws of Rhode Island of 1798, is in 
the second window-seat. 

Case 9 holds part of a richly embroidered court-dress pre- 
sented by King George I to William Hopkins of Providence, 
eldest brother of Gov. Stephen Hopkins, in recognition 
of his services in dispersing a riot in London about 1725. 
Hopkins was then about 19 years of age and a common 
sailor. The King bestowed upon him the commission of 
Colonel, which he subsequently sold. 

We now come to the 



Two military caps stand on the shelf in front of Hopkins' 
court-dress. One, bearing the arms of the State, with the 
motto "Hope" above, and below, the words, "God and Our 
Rights," a free translation of England's motto, "Dieu et 
Mon Droit," was worn by one of the Providence Grenadiers 
of 1776. The other, embroidered in gilt with the crown of 
England and the royal initials "G R," was worn by a British 
soldier during the Revolution. 

Perhaps the most interesting relics of the period are those 
which have some personal connection with Washington. The 
head of a brass eagle, once the handle of Washington's sword, 
was treasured for generations in the Carroll family of Vir- 
ginia; and in 1861 was presented by members of that family 
in Washington to the First Regiment of Rhode Island 
Troops, then quartered there. Charles H. Merriman, Ad- 
jutant of that regiment, gave it to the Society. 

The two tall black candlesticks and the candle preserved 
in the bottle were used at a ball given in honor of General 
Washington at Hacker's Hall in Providence, on August 18, 
1790, during the brief visit of Washington to this city. 

A lock of Washington's hair is exhibited in the case in the 
Portrait Gallery, together with an autograph letter of his 
wife, Martha Washington, which accompanied the lock of 
hair in response to a request from some Providence ladies. 

On the night of June 10, 1772, a band of patriots, under 
Abraham Whipple, burnt the British schooner Gas pee, which, 
while chasing the packet Hannah, had run ashore on Nam- 
quit Point, now known as Gaspee Point. 

A piece of wood from the Gaspee, and also a piece of wood 
from the "Gaspee House" situated on the northeast corner 
of Planet and South Main Streets, on which a picture of the 
house has been burnt with a red-hot poker, decorate the 
upper shelf of Case 10. The "Gaspee House" was the house 
in which the attack upon the Gaspee was planned. A frag- 
ment of a gun used in this expedition and later found in the 


water at Gaspee Point is on Shelf 3. The silver cup was a 
piece of plunder taken from theGaspee by Commodore Whip- 
ple, and is inscribed: "Captured by Com. Whipple of R. I. 
from the British Sloop Gaspee June 17, 1772." James Fenni- 
more Cooper in his History of the Navy of the United States, 
erroneously gave the date of June 17th for the burning of 
the Gaspee, and this error has been copied in many places. 
Some specimens of the paper money used in Rhode Island 
in Colonial and Revolutionary times are shown in this case. 

On Shelf '2 are exhibited a lantern, which hung in the 
cabin of the Frigate Providence, commanded by Commodore 
Abraham Whipple in 1777; a shoebuckle, worn by Sarah, 
wife of Commodore Whipple and niece of Commodore Esek 
and Governor Stephen Hopkins, at a ball given in honor of 
M. Le Comte de Rochambeau, with whom she danced the 
first figure. 

Case 9 contains a photograph of the diamond insignia of 
the Order of the Cincinnati, which was presented by the 
Marine officers of France, members of the Society, to His 
Excellency General Washington; and two badges of the order, 
one worn by Gen. William Barton, and the other by Maj. 
William Peck. 

A camp broiler, and a tourniquet, a surgical instrument to 
prevent excessive bleeding, used by the Rhode Island troops, 
are on this shelf; and also the baton carried by the Chief 
Marshal at the celebration of the reading of the Declaration 
of Independence held at Providence July 25, 1776. 

Near by is a lacquered box presented by Gen. Le Mar- 
quis de Lafayette to Miss Roby Knight of Cranston, and 
also an autograph letter of Lafayette to Colonel Greene 
written July 26, 1780. On the lower shelf is a pair of over- 
shoes, worn by Lafayette, who gave them to George Wash- 
ington Greene, who presented them to the Society. 

A canteen used during the Revolution and a Revolutionary 
gun-swab found in the washout of July 4, 1915, at Fort 
Independence, Field's Point, R. I., make up the complement 
of this shelf. 


Shelf 3 contains buttons from the uniforms of several 
British regiments. The Eighth, "The King's Regiment," 
served on the Canadian frontier ; the Twenty-second fought at 
Bunker Hill, Brooklyn, the Island of Rhode Island, and was 
engaged in the raids of May 24, 1778, at Warren and Bristol; 
the Thirty-fourth fought at Stillwater and surrendered at 
Saratoga with Burgoyne; the Thirty-eighth fought at Bunker 
Hill and New York; and the Sixty-fourth saw service at 
Dorchester Heights, Brooklyn, Brandy wine, Eutaw Springs 
and Charlestown. Here also is a piece of the pine-tree at 
Saratoga, N. Y., where Jane McCrea was killed, July 23, 
1777; a slag from the old forge of General Greene, at Cov- 
entry, R. I.; grape-shot from Fort Mercer on the Delaware, 
where the Rhode Island troops under Col. Christopher 
Greene defeated the Hessians on the afternoon of October 
22, 1777; a kit of tools used by Lieut. Asa Bowers during 
this war; and a wallet carried by Lieut. David Sayles. 

In Case 10 can be seen a powder-horn made by Eseck 
Burlingame of Gloucester, who served in the Revolution in 
1781 ; a bottle and a piece of salt pork taken from the British 
Frigate Hussar, which sank at Hell Gate, N. Y., in 1775; 
and a punch-bowl used by the Town Council at Newport, to 
celebrate the Declaration of Independence in 1776. 

The brass ink-stand bearing the initials sap" and the 
axe-blade were found on the site of the French encampment 
at Providence, which was near the corner of Rochambeau 
Avenue and Camp Street, hence their names. 

This case also contains a piece of the elm-tree at Saratoga 
under which the British surrendered on October 17, 1777; 
a queue worn by Joseph James during the Revolution; a knife 
and spectacles used during the war; and two epaulets of this 
period found in the Jonathan Arnold House, in Lincoln, R. I. 
In Case 11 are the splints used by Dr. Solomon Drown of 
Mt. Hygeia in Foster, R. I., who was surgeon of the Rhode 
Island troops; and a plank from the Galley Congress, which 
was blown up in Arnold's Bay, near Panlon, Vt., on October 
13, 1776. It was commanded by Gen. Benedict Arnold, 
who later turned traitor, in 1780. 


The collection of Revolutionary swords includes a sword 
bayonet, used by the Hessians (German mercenaries) on 
Rhode Island, the blade of which is inscribed: 

" Friedrich II LandgrafT Zu Hessen," 

a sword of the so-called Washington pattern, its handle ter- 
minating with an eagle's head; a sword carried by Lieut. 
Clarke Brown, quartermaster of Col. Christopher Greene's 
Ninth Continental Infantry; a sword with its handle ending 
in a dog's head, which was carried by Col. Ephraim Bowen, 
Jr., a member of the Gaspee expedition, and two other 
swords carried in the war. 

The Society possesses four flint-lock guns of the Revolu- 
tionary period. One of these is inlaid with a brass plate 
bearing the following inscription: "This is the barrell of the 
Gun with which Gen. Greene first learned the manuel exer- 
cise. He purchased it in Boston of a British deserter in 
1774. The present Stock and Lock have been substituted 
in place of the originals which have been lost." The lock 
bears the crown and "G R" of the English army and the 
name, "Tower." The longest gun bears a silver plate marked 
"I. W." The other long gun was originally a flintlock, but 
this has been replaced by a more modern percussion lock. 

Case 1 1 also contains a brace of flintlock pistols made by 
W. Ketland & Co. and carried by Col. Ephraim Bowen, Jr., 
in the Revolution; and also another smaller flintlock pistol. 

A drum used at the battle of Bunker Hill is in the long 
case at the south end of the room, while the flag carried by 
the United Train of Artillery of Providence in 1776 and a 
flag carried in the expedition of Gen. John Sullivan on Rhode 
Island in 1778 hang upon the wall in a frame above the 
museum cases. The facsimile reproductions of the two 
flags carried by the Rhode Island regiments in the Revolu- 
tion are of particular interest as the Rhode Island Revolu- 
tionary flag is said to be the first American flag to have a 
union of thirteen stars. The watch that was made in London 


and belonged to Gov. Stephen Hopkins is in the case in 
the Portrait Gallery. 

Turning now to the epoch subsequent to the Revolution, 
one comes to Cases 12 to 17, which illustrate the household 
and daily life of Rhode Islanders from the Revolution to 
the Civil War. 

In this case hangs a portrait of Deborah Sampson, drawn 
and painted by Joseph Stone of Framingham, Mass., in 1 797 ; 
and a picture painted by Samuel Yates, a sign painter of 
Providence, in 1780, entitled: 

"Blacksmith Turned Toothpuller." 

It shows the rough, heavy pincers used by the eighteenth 
century dentist. A pair of such pincers lies upon the shelf in 
front of the picture. Beside it is a turnkey, or toothpuller, of 
a slightly later date, which is said to have been used by Dr. 
Whitney of Providence in the early part of the nineteenth 
century. The two white pebbles, flat on one side and convex 
on the other, are eye-stones, and, like the turnkey, are from 
the medicine-chest of Dr. Whitney. They were used to remove 
cinders and other foreign substances from the eye. Being 
placed in the inner corner of the eye, an eyestone works 
itself along between the eye-ball and eyelid, coming out at 
the outer end and bringing with it whatever particles hap- 
pen to be there. On the same shelf are two pairs of 
spectacles; one with almost square rims, and a tin case; the 
other, which was used about 1790 by Gideon Perkins of 
Coventry, has jointed bows and a paper case shaped like 
a cofhn. 

Before clocks and watches came into common use, the 
time of day was told approximately by sundials; and short 
durations of time, as minutes, half-hours and hours, were 
told by sand-glasses. A minute sand-glass and pocket sun- 
dial are shown upon Shelf 2. A pocket sundial always had 
a compass attached to it, so that the gnomon, which throws 
the shadow on the dial, would point directly north and south 


parallel with the earth's axis. Another pocket sundial, once 
the property of Roger Williams, has already been mentioned, 
as being on exhibition in the Portrait Gallery. The Society 
exhibits three watches; the oldest, made in England, was 
carried by Gov. Stephen Hopkins, a signer of the Declar- 
ation of Independence; the second, of French manufacture, 
was owned in the family of Philip Crapo, who was admitted 
to the Rhode Island bar in 1796; and the third belonged to 
Joseph Herlitz, captain of the ship Ganges, which was 
wrecked against the building occupied by the Washington 
Insurance Company, Providence, during the great "Septem- 
ber Gale," on September 23, 1815. 

Two hall-clocks stand facing each other at the entrance of 
the Portrait Gallery. The one at the right was made by 
William Claggett of Newport, and was part of the wedding 
outfit of Gen. Nathanael Greene, who was married July 
20, 1774, to Katherine Littlefield. The clock at the left was 
made by Daniel Sheldon of Providence. 

Shelf 3 of Case 12 contains the delicate scales used in the 
Warren Family. Such scales were used by physicians and 
families in the early part of the nineteenth century for weigh- 
ing medicines, at a time when there were few apothecaries and 
the doctor or housewife compounded all the drugs. Beside 
these are some heavy lead weights from the windows of the 
Daniel Manton House that was built in Johnston in 1785. 
Some hand-made nails of this period are also shown, and 
a bed-wrench used on the old four-poster beds. On the 
lower shelf are a wrought-iron shovel and tongs from an 
early fire-place. 

The third shelf holds a purse knit by Mrs. Rachel Newell 
of Lincoln, R. I., out of fiax grown, broken, hetcheled and 
spun by her after passing her 90th birthday. The long 
leather pocketbook or wallet used by Philip Crapo is typical 
of those used at that time. 

A box of wafers or legal seals which were formerly in com- 
mon use, together with the seals of Caleb G. Gibbs and his 
wife, executed in mother-of-pearl with the monograms 


Providence Grenadier's Cap British Soldier's Cap 


Cartridge -Box 


Carried in the Sullivan Expedition of 1778 

Captured by the Americans on Rhode Island 


"C G G" and "M N G," and a brass seal bearing the initials 
"N C" are on the same shelf. 

The lower shelf holds a collection of doorknobs from the 
Pratt House on Friendship Street in Providence; a doorknob 
from Job Sweeting's House on Broad (now Weybosset) 
Street, later the residence of Dr. Stephen Harris; a wrought- 
iron spur; and a pair of ice-creepers used in 1780. The rate 
board of Toll used in the village of Harmony, R. I., from 1818 
to 1880 hangs in Case 15. 

Cases 13 and 14 hold an assortment of clothes worn during 
the early nineteenth century. The black cocked hat and 
colored waistcoat were worn by Gov. James Fenner at his in- 
auguration on May 6, 1807. The black waistcoat is also 
from his wardrobe. The silk calash, or large bonnet, was 
worn by his wife, Sarah (Jenckes) Fenner; the satin gown 
was worn about 1820 by Eliza (Paine) Bridgham, wife of 
Samuel Willard Bridgham, and the quilted silk petticoat 
was worn about 1830 by Almira F. Dexter, wife of Samuel 

The upper shelf holds a green parasol used about 1840 by 
Abby, daughter of Capt. Richard Wickes Greene; and the 
frame of an umbrella used in the family of Gov. Seth 
Padelford in the early nineteenth century. This shelf also 
contains a strap or cuff worn at the bottom of the panta- 
loons of 1839 and 1840, and a number of buttons of various 
designs used during this period. 

Cases 16 and 17 contain the hat, coat and belt of the 
military uniform of Adoniram Brown, a member of the 
Rhode Island Militia. 

In Case 13 are exhibited six varieties of slippers worn 
about 1800; a hand-made shoe-buckle worn in 1825 by Eliza 
(Bridgham) Patten; and two knee-buckles worn about 1790. 

The second shelf holds a pocket-bag owned by Betsey 
Whitin of Whitinsville; a small bag made from an embroi- 
dered waistcoat by Miss Ives; and a red bandana handker- 
chief of the period. 

The second shelf of Case 14 contains sample pieces of cloth 


in use in tiie early nineteenth century. Among these should 
be noticed a piece of the first "cotton check" manufactured 
in Rhode Island, which was made in 1791 by Samuel Slater; 
a piece of "factory gingham" made in Rhode Island; a piece 
of tow cloth; and some gold lace, made by Mary Updike of 
Narragansett in 1742. 

Upon the third shelf is a gauging rod for ascertaining the 
contents of casks, used by Nathan W. Jackson, town clerk 
of Providence from 1799 to 1829; the bell formerly used by 
the town crier of Johnston; and a couple of cocoanut dippers, 
one plain and one carved. Such cocoanut dippers were in 
common use at the wells of our New England ancestors. On 
the lower shelf is a set of steelyards for weighing; and a 
wooden contribution-box, which in most churches has now 
been replaced by the plate. 

Case 15 contains various implements connected with the 
early manufacture of cotton cloth in Rhode Island. The 
shuttle for a hand-loom used in the Bailey family of West 
Greenwich before the Revolution. A hand-loom, and a 
weaver's reed hang upon the wall, while the upper shelf con- 
tains the spindles taken from the spinning-frames first used 
for cotton in Rhode Island (1823), three blocks used in 1789 
in printing the first calico in East Greenwich, and a throttle 
roller and bobbin used in Pawtucket in 1828. 

The second shelf holds a pair of hand-cards for carding 
wool, made in Leicester, Mass., before 1828, and a machine 
used in the eighteenth century for making card-teeth. 

The upper shelf of Cases 16 and 17 contain an assortment 
of lighting accessories of the late eighteenth and early nine- 
teenth centuries. When compared with those in Case 8 and 
those now in use, they form an interesting transition-link. 
Sulphur matches had taken the place of the tinder-box, and 
samples of two varieties of these are shown. A large number 
of candles were made of bayberry wax, one of which is shown 
in the tin candlestick. Whale-oil was used before the intro- 
duction of kerosene, and three glass and seven brass lamps 
for whale-oil are on exhibition. On the wall is a piece of 


the wall-paper which was put on the walls of the Clark House 
on Thomas Street about 1810. The trade-signs of W. Carder 
and of W. Hancock, 1834, formerly S. Carpenter, 1825, hang 
above Case 11. The Turk's head, the bunch of grapes, and 
the shoe sign of 1718 have already been mentioned. The 
assortment of lottery tickets in the frame on the wall illus- 
trate a custom once popular in Rhode Island. Churches and 
other charitable and semi-public organizations would obtain 
from the General Assembly the right to hold a lottery and 
then by the sale of these tickets would raise money to carry 
on their works. 

The copper-plate head-line of the Rhode Island American 
of Providence, which was used on that newspaper from Jan- 
uary 2, 1824, to October 7, 1825; and a silver spoon with the 
initials "M S," which belonged to Margaret Stites, wife of 
James Manning, first president of Brown University, are 
also on this shelf. 

The next shelf contains a wooden coaster that belonged to 
Betsey Williams, a silver coaster with its equipment of 
bottles, a pewter tea-canister, and a china tea-canister made 
in China for Capt. Stephen Aplin and ornamented with the 
initials "S A." In the early eighteenth century, many sea- 
captains had crockery with individual designs made for 
them in China. A couple of clothes-pins of old-fashioned 
design, three wooden salt-shakers, and a pepper-pot, also of 
wood, adorn the same shelf. Near by is a watchman's rattle 
formerly used to summon the police, and a pack of conversa- 
tion-cards which were sold in Providence by J. Johnson, as 
the label states, "For Social Amusement." 

A pair of sugar-crushers, a Jonny-cake board, and a rest 
for curling-irons used by the Gavitt family in Westerly about 
1804, are on the next shelf. These curling-irons were used 
for curling the silk of dresses and bonnets of those days. 

The lower shelf contains a boot-jack owned by Jeremiah 
F. Jenkins, and a squash-press made in 1825. Two styles of 
coffee-grinders, and a foot-stove that belonged to Hope 
Harris Smith, granddaughter of Toleration Harris, are also 


The lower shelf of Case 17 contains a collection of locks 
in use in the early nineteenth century. 

To this period belongs the drop-curtain at the north end 
of the Museum. It was painted in 1809 by John Worrall, 
a scene-painter of Boston, and represents a view of the city 
of Providence as seen looking east from the old fort at the 
junction of Atwell's Avenue and Broadway. It was used as 
a drop-curtain at the old Providence Theatre. 

The model of a hand fire-engine is shown in the large case, 
and a large painting of a similar engine hangs on the wall 
of the Museum. Fire-buckets used during this period hang 
in the entrance of the building and elsewhere. 

The locomotive in the large case is a model of the Osceola, 
one of the first to run in Rhode Island. In the early times, 
engines were named, as sleeping-cars are now, and not 

In this case also is a piece of white marble, being the tablet 
from the statue of Washington that formerly stood on 
Washington Bridge. The inscription reads 


Built by John Brown, Esq. 179[3] 

This MONUMENT is erected 

[b]y the Founder «& Proprietor of India Point 

As a Testimony of High Respect 



The three square-rigged vessels are carefully made models. 
The larger one is the Frigate Washington, while the one 
beside her is the Frigate Hudson, which was commanded 
by Commodore Creighton of Providence. This model was 
rigged by Capt. Obed Baker of Pawtuxet, R. I., who in 
1826 was mizzentopman on the Hudson. The smaller ship 
is the U. S. S. Mar. 


The quadrant belonged to the brig Only Son, which was 
owned by Elisha Dyer, who built the Dyerville Mill in 1835. 
The peculiarity of the vessel's name arose from the circum- 
stances then existing in Mr. Dyer's own family. In naviga- 
tion, the quadrant superseded the cross-staff, already 
mentioned; and was itself replaced by the sextant. Two 
sextants are shown on this shelf. One was "Made by Ben- 
jamin King in Newport, Rho. Island 1762," and the other 
is inscribed "Paul Pease 1750." 

A large glass lamp-chimney used upon such vessels as these 
is exhibited in the same case. The lustre-ware pitcher, and 
the Brittania-ware tea-pot illustrate two now almost for- 
gotten materials formerly used in the manufacture of house- 
hold utensils. 

Along the top of these cases are models of the hulls of 
several vessels, viz.: Steamer ^a//oo«; Steamer Blackstone and 
Steamer Massasoit, both built by John S. Child between 
1847 and 1849; Steamer John W. Richmond, built in 1837, 
and two smaller models of ships. 

Two samplers hang upon the east wall of the Museum ; one 
made by Ann Barton of Providence in October, 1800, and 
the other by Catherine S. Comstock in 1804. 

WAR OF 1812. 

Case 18 is devoted to the War of 1812. Here can be seen 
a part of the stern post of the boat that conveyed Com. 
Oliver Hazard Perry from the Lawrence to the Niagara 
during the battle of Lake Erie, on the 10th of September, 
1813; a piece of wood from the Law r eric e; and a portrait of 
Commodore Perry enamelled on a mirror-knob. The Jacket 
that Perry wore during the battle, together with the sword 
that was given to him by the city of Albany, are exhibited 
in the case in the Portrait Gallery. They are the gift of his 
grandson, Oliver Hazard Perry. The following inscription 
is engraved on the sword : 


"PRESENTED To Oliver H. Perry, Esqr. By the Com- 
mon Council of the city of ALBANY Novr 8th 1813." 

A pitcher, commemorative of Perry's victory, presented to 
him by the people of Newport, and a buckle worn by a 
British soldier at the Battle of New Orleans are also shown. 
A facsimile of the flag flown by Commodore Perry during 
the Battle of Lake Erie, bearing Lawrence's motto, "Don't 
give up the Ship," hangs on the wall. 

On the upper shelf is one of the candles used at the time 
of the illumination of Providence on account of the Peace of 
1815 and also again in 1860 used at J. Cladding's House on 
Chestnut Street at the illumination for the election of 
Lincoln as President. An oil painting of the Niagara and 
a cane used by Usher Parsons, surgeon of Perry's fleet, hang 
in this case. 

The wooden canteen on the upper shelf was used by Sam- 
uel Jackson, Major of the Union Guards, a company formed 
for the defense of Providence in the War of 1812. The flag 
of the Union Guards made by the ladies of Providence and 
presented by them to the guards, hangs on the wall of the 
Museum. The flag of the Kentish Guards of Kent County, 
made between 1796 and 1803; and that of the Second Regi- 
ment of Providence County, dating from between 1803 and 
1817; a flag carried in the processions of the Marine Society; 
and a flag commemorative of the destruction of the Gaspee, 
which was carried in the Jubilee procession in 1826, are 
framed and hang on the walls of the Museum. 

The Tammany Society was founded in Providence, 1809, 
and continued until 1819. During its life it exerted an 
enormous political influence in Rhode Island. Two medals 
issued by this Society, and a combination "Tomahawk and 
Pipe of Peace" used in the celebrations of the organization 
are exhibited in Case 18. A fragment of the flag formerly 
carried in the Tammany processions hangs upon the wall 
under glass. 



Eight political banners carried in the Dorr War demon- 
strations of 1842 hang on the walls of Cases 19 to 24. A 
birch pike carried in that war; some samples of the ammuni- 
tion found at Dorr's Fort, on Acote's Hill, Chepachet, after 
Dorr's second flight; a fan made by Thomas Wilson Dorr 
while in prison; and a regimental hat worn by Maj. Clarke 
S. Greene of the Eighth Regiment of the Rhode Island 
Militia in 1842 complete the exhibits dealing with that 
constitutional crisis. 

On November 6, 1837, a number of men met at the office 
of Benjamin P. Robinson, 37 Canal Street, and formed 
"The American Brass Band of Providence." The kettle 
drums used by this band are in the window-seat on the east 
side of the Museum and the other instruments used by them 
are in the large case at the south end of the room. 

During the night of January 13, 1840, the Steamer Lex- 
ington was destroyed by fire on Long Island Sound, with the 
loss of 105 persons, only four being saved. David Crowley, 
the second mate, was saved on a bale of cotton, upon which 
he drifted for two days and two nights. A piece of the cotton 
from this bale is shown in Case 19 and also a picture of the 
"Burning of the Lexington.'' Here also is a piece of hand- 
made rope made by James P. Butts in Providence in 1838, 
and the seal of the Fruit Hill Detecting Society, an organiza- 
tion incorporated in 1830 for the prevention of horse-stealing. 

The third shelf holds a straw bonnet, made by Mrs. 
Betsey (Metcalf) Baker, wife of Obed Baker, in 1861, at the 
age of 76. She was the pioneer in the manufacture of women's 
straw bonnets in this vicinity. Here also is a piece of wood 
carved in the shape of a hand, cut from the first horse- 
chestnut tree in Rhode Island, the one which was planted 
on Market Square by Jabez Bowen, who was deputy gov- 
ernor of Rhode Island in 1778. 

The Mexican War of 1845-48 is represented by two swords 
and sashes of Brig. -Gen. Joseph Story Pitman of Providence. 


The straight sword is marked "N. P. Ames, Cutter, Spring- 
field ;" and its scabbard, "Made by N. P. Ames, Cabotville, 
Mass." It is also inscribed: "Presented to Capt. JOSEPH 
Friends. AUDENDUM DEXTRA." On the upper shelf 
stands an elaborate silver service consisting of a tray, two 
goblets, and a large pitcher bearing the inscription: "Brig. 
From his friends in the active Militia of the State of Rhode 
Island, as a Testimonial of their APPRECIATION of his 
efiforts in promoting Discipline and Efficiency in their or- 
ganization June 1859." The tray and goblets are inscribed 
with General Pitman's name and the date, June, 1859. The 
service was made by the Gorham Manufacturing Company 
of Providence. The belt and powder-pouch carried by 
George W. Guild, a soldier in the Mexican and Civil Wars, 
is also exhibited, and a flag captured April 17, 1847, on the 
battle-field of Cerro Gordo, and brought home in 1848 by 
Guild. The flag bears a mutilated coat of arms, beneath 
which is the following inscription: 


On July 8, 1853, an American squadron under Com. 
Matthew Calbraith Perry, a native-born Rhode Islander, 
brother of Com. Oliver Hazard Perry, dropped anchor 
in Yedo Bay, and negotiations were begun which resulted in 
the opening of Japan to foreigners. This was the first step 
taken in the movement that has made Japan a world-power. 
A Japanese cartoon of Perry's expedition hangs above the 
window on the east side of the Museum. 

A piece of the first transatlantic cable, which was laid in 
1853 by the Great Eastern, is in Case 19. 


The Civil War is illustrated by Cases 20 to 23. Here can 
be seen a plaster bust of Gen. Ambrose Everett Burnside 









Made and used by the Narragansett Indians 


of Bristol, who, after several brilliant military successes, was 
made commander-in-chief of the Federal Army of the Poto- 
mac on November 9, 1862. He was Governor of Rhode 
Island from 1866 to 1868, and United States Senator from 
Rhode Island from 1874 until his death, September 13, 1881. 
The sash worn by him during the war, and the sleeve of his 
uniform as a first lieutenant of Artillery, that was worn by 
him at the time of his marriage April 27, 1852, are also ex- 
hibited. The sword and epaulets of Gen. Thomas F. Car- 
penter of Rhode Island, the sword of Capt. Joseph H. 
Kendrick of Company I, of the Eleventh Rhode Island In- 
fantry, the presentation and service swords of Lieut. George 
Whitman Darling of the First Rhode Island Cavalry, and 
three other swords used in the war are shown. 

Case 23 contains the telescopic rifle of the famous War 
Governor, William Sprague, governor of Rhode Island from 
1860 to 1863, and United States senator from 1863 to 1875. 
This gun was made by N. Gilbert Whitmore. 

A Springfield rifle marked "1836," a short Spencer repeat- 
ing rifle, both used in the war; a double-barreled shotgun 
made by Christopher Brown; and a short flintlock trans- 
formed into a percussion gun, used in the Williams family, 
complete the array of guns. A Colt revolver; a small pistol; 
and three other styles of revolvers, one known as a pepper 
pistol, are in Case 22. 

A drum carried in the Civil War is in the window-seat 
between Cases 21 and 22; a drafting machine used in the 
office of Alfred B. Chadsey, provost marshal of the Eastern 
District of Rhode Island, is in the large case; and on the wall 
of the Museum is a flag made from an American flag and 
used in the Confederate army. It consists of three hori- 
zontal stripes, two red and one white, and a blue canton 
with eleven white stars, two of which are now lost. The 
canvas on the hoist of the flag bears the inscription "N. Y. B. 
1855." A carpet bag, and various styles of knapsacks, car- 
tridge-cases, canteens and powder-flasks are exhibited, to- 
gether with buttons from various uniforms, and miscellaneous 
wearing apparel and camping utensils. 


Here also is a slave-chain taken from the body of a slave 
who was found chained with it to a tree on the plantation 
of Mr. Belson, near Simmsport, Louisiana, in May, 1862, by 
Capt. Peter Brucker of the Second Rhode Island Cavalry; 
a portion of the "Dead Line" of the Andersonville Prison, 
beyond which it was suicide for a Northern prisoner to go; 
two heavy iron hinges from the main gate of the Anderson- 
ville Prison; and a banister from the railing of the staircase 
in the Marshall House, Alexandria, Virginia. It was on this 
flight of stairs that Col. Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth of the 
Eleventh New York Regiment was shot dead by James W. 
Jackson, the proprietor of the Marshall House, on Friday 
morning. May 24, 1861, after Colonel Ellsworth had suc- 
ceeded in pulling down the Confederate flag that was flying 
from the roof of that hotel. 

Some cannon-balls from Fort Sumter; ball cartridges from 
Bull Run; powder from Fort Moultrie and Fort Sullivan; 
a bullet from Gettysburg; the brass cap from a shell fired 
July 9, 1864, at Monocacy, Md.; and a mortar cast from 
bullets used at Fort Sedgwick make up the exhibition of 

Other souvenirs of the war are shown, among which the 
more interesting are: two buttons made from oak taken from 
the U. S. S. Hartford which was commanded by Com. 
David Glasgow Farragut at New Orleans; the mouthpiece of 
a fife that was picked up on the battle-field at Newburg, Va.; 
a piece of army-bread, or hardtack, served in the Federal 
army at Newport News in 1861; and a package of papers 
which stopped a bullet and so saved the life of George E. 
Davis on the morning of October 19, 1864, at Cedar Creek, 
when Sheridan's army was surprised by the enemy. 

An autograph letter of Abraham Lincoln is exhibited in 
the case in the Portrait Gallery. 

The period subsequent to the Civil War is represented in 
Case 24. The lower shelf contains a brick and piece of wood 
from the University Grammar School, which stood at the 
corner of Prospect and College Streets and was demolished 


in 1901 to make room for the Administration Building of 
Brown University. At the side of this is a brick from the 
Providence Railroad Depot which was built on the north 
side of Exchange Place in 1848 after the design of Thomas 
A. Tefft, a Providence architect. A picture of the building 
is painted on this brick. It was demolished in 1898. 

On this shelf are three pieces of Westerly granite, a build- 
ing-stone for which our state is renowned ; a piece from the 
shaft of the Centennial Engine built in 1875 by the Corliss 
Steam Engine Company of Providence, a concern noted for 
inventions and improvements in connection with steam en- 

The photographs of eight medals which were presented to 
Ida Lewis, the heroine of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport 
Harbor, who, while lighthouse-keeper there, rescued many 
persons from drowning; some pieces of aluminum and Tobin 
bronze from the cup-defender Defender built in 1895 by the 
Herreshoffs at Bristol; and a piece of wood from the steamer 
Rhode Island, which was wrecked off The Bonnet on Novem- 
ber 6, 1880, are shown here. 

On the second shelf is a pitcher made in 1886 to com- 
memorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Provi- 
dence; and a cup and saucer made in 1876 to commemorate 
the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. 
The larger pitcher, ornamented with masonic symbols, 
belonged to Thomas Arthur Doyle, who was eighteen times 
mayor of Providence and died in office June 9, 1886. 

Mementos of the Spanish-American War of 1898 are on 
the upper shelf. The gilt arrow bearing the word "Detroit" 
is part of the wreckage of the Captain's gig of the United 
States Gunboat Detroit. The Detroit's gig was destroyed in 
the Battle of Santiago July 4, 1898. The piece of copper is 
from the United States Battleship Maine, which was blown 
up in Havana Harbor February 15, 1898. This incident was 
the immediate cause of the war. The steel filing is from one 
of the guns cast in Providence for the United States Cruiser 
Baltimore. One of the pieces of hardtack is from the mess of 


the United States Cruiser Montgomery, while the other is from 
the mess of the First Regiment of Rhode Island Volunteers. 

Samples of the three principal kinds of cartridges used in 
the war are mounted upon a card. The Mauser was used 
by the Spaniards, while the Krag-Jorgensen and Springfield 
were used by the Americans. 

The blue Rhode Island flag with white anchor and stars 
was flown from the Rhode Island Building at the World's 
Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. The official Color 
of the anchor and stars on the Rhode Island state flag is 
gold, although sometimes, as in this case, white has been 
used in place of gold. 

The coat of arms at the north end of the Museum decorated 
the Rhode Island exhibit at the Tercentennial at Jamestown, 
Virginia, in 1907. 

Copy of the "TURK'S HEAD 




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